Just your average HP fan, with a special interest in the H/G relationship.
I've just submitted my first fan fic, He Didn't Stand A Chance. Please read and review!
July 19: For anyone who is interested in reading the other two chapters of He Didn't Stand A Chance, they can be found on the SIYE web site, where it was nominated for Best Romance and Best Overall. The story can be located either through the title or my pen name, The Seeker. A second story, a one-shot called A Trunk, Some Magic, and a Girl, also can be found there. Two guesses who the girl is! If you do visit, please leave a review. Thanks!
Summary: Itís the summer after the battle at the Ministry of Magic and Harry has returned to Privet Drive, where he awaits the time when he can rejoin his friends. A certain redhead has begun to occupy his mind and awaken emotions he never knew he had. As he continues to mourn the loss of his godfather, Harry slowly begins to heal and may have discovered a way to communicate with Sirius. Can it be too good to be true? Takes place directly following OOTP. Primarily a H/G romance, with some R/Hr as well. Rated R for adult content in future chapters.
Outstanding OWLs. Your description of Hermione's excitement was pitch perfect. Cute trick by Hermione to give H and G some alone time.
The way you combined Ron and Harry's nascent maturity with their continuing cluelessnes was both funny and poignant.
Now, I want to see what you do with Harry and Ginny during their time alone.
Author's Response: Thanks. So much emphasis was placed on the importance of OWLs that I felt Hermione needed a moment to revel in their glory and excitement.
Czarina, Your level of detail is marvelous. You paint a very complete picture of the scenes and the characters' interactions within them, but you do it without bogging down the story. Well done!
The contrast of Ginny performing a very powerful wandless magic act, then talking to Harry "in a small voice" was an excellent contrast and certainly represented all of the teens being on the cusp of maturity, moving between childhood and young adult from one second to the next.
One benefit of coming to your story somewhat late is that I can move to your next chapter now!
Author's Response: What a lovely review! You truly understand what it is I am trying to convey and that means so very much to me. The teens are a time of exploration and discovery. Growing up isn\'t easy and we tend to experiment with who we are going to become one day. Yes, it is a good benefit that you get to read so many chapters at once. I am the first to admit that I am slow to update. I want each chapter to be the very best it can be before I am ready for anyone else to read it.
I really liked the first scene, when Harry was comforting Ginny, then Ron and Hermione helped her, plus added to the criticisms of PIW. The scene really showed how much they care for each other.
Safe to say, the twins did not use an interior decorator for their flat! And again, kudos to you for creating the Portable Tunnel. What a great idea!
Author's Response: Ah, Fred and George. I do love them dearly. When I imagined their apartment, I immediately had this lurid picture of a lot of bright, abrasive color and textures. It suits them, don\'t you think? Thanks for the review!
Czarina, you do an absolutely spiffing job with Ginny. From Harry's reaction to her in shorts all the way through her comment about him getting ". . . another sneak peek . . ." you've created a highly detailed character and shown why Harry is so attracted to her.
Really loved how Ginny wouldn't allow Harry to wallow in his self pity, and how she helped Ron and Hermione understand the ramifications of what they were doing.
Altogether another wonderful chapter!
Author's Response: Why thank you! I think we have the idea from JKR that Ginny will be Harry\'s strength in one way or another. With so many older brothers, she is quite able to take care of herself and has no problem saying things that others may keep to themselves. Glad you enjoyed the chapter!
I found your story through your reviews on the barkeeper's stories(I think!). It's hard to believe this is your first one!
Your details are very nice and not obstrusive, and your sentences flow easily.
In this chapter, you establish your two main characters very well. Ginny, especially, is well drawn. You've captured a maturing girl, still fourteen, who is dealing with strong romantic feelings for maybe the first time. But you've described those feelings, as a fourteen year old would express them. Many writers make her a little too mature. You've captured the yearning, indecision, as well as the emerging fire very well.
I'm looking forward to your remaining chapters! How many more until the story is completed?
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful review. I love when people take the chapter apart and analyze it. I find it extremely helpful. Yes, this is my first foray into fanfic, but I have been writing for enjoyment for a long time. I am not sure how many chapters this will end up to be, but I am still writing it and enjoying doing so.
Wow! So soft, so sweet, you did an excellent job of showing Ginny's support of Harry and the strength and peace he derives from it.
I also liked how Harry knew Ginny thought he was going to discuss another topic when they first started talking. You're showing their evolution slowly and realistically through telling details. It's fun to watch you paint these scenes!
Cute ending when Harry returned to bed!
Author's Response: This was one of my favorite chapters. I know I frustrated more than a few readers with how slowly I made things evolve with Harry and Ginny, but I knew from the start that was how I wanted it to be. I\'m glad you are enjoying it!
YEA!!! Czarina is back! Another wonderfully written and plotted chapter. I had to check how many words it had (over 4200), because it seemed half that length, since your prose just flowed.
Really liked how you shifted back and forth in time. It was handled very well, with no confusion caused by the movements in time. Of course, we're relieved Ginny is feeling well again, but Harry's repeated concerns about her safety better not be foreshadowing. Please? That feeling is repeated with Harry's consistent concern that something major is going to happen.
Regardless, it felt good for Pansy to be expelled, though I wonder if she had an accomplice or two. We'll see, hmmm?
Loved DD's line when he asked H and G if they were keeping themselves warm (on the Astronomy Tower). They certainly were, until you had LV interrupt them! Thanks a lot, Czarina!
Skeeter's death also leads us down a slippery slope. Ron's theory that it was due to her revelation of Umbridge and McNair's relationship sounds spot on. Lots of different story arcs here, and I can't wait to read what you do with them.
All in all, another beautifully written, intriguing chapter by our Czarina. Thank you, Jim
Author's Response: Ah, Seeker Jim! How well you pick up on the tangled web I am weaving. I\'ve made it complex on purpose, and I am always delighted when readers pick up on something I casually mention and realize its importance. That is the major thing that makes me so in awe of JKR. I think Harry\'s gut feelings are getting more accurate, and I hope he starts to realize that and use them to his advantage. He has a lot of powerful tools in his arsenal, but he needs to learn how to use them. Dumbledore just makes me laugh. I find that he almost writes himself, even when I don\'t plan things quite the way they come out. I really wanted Ron to be able to put the pieces of something together since it\'s infrequent that he gets to do that. I think we are getting to see more about Umbridge\'s secret life and it should make us all a bit leery. As always, thank you for the comprehensive and kind review - you know I appreciate it.
Great idea to parallel Ginny and Harry talking to Hedwig. It underscores their similarities and helps break up the internal monologues they both have.
Your use of letters between H and G is inspired, since they are much more comfortable at this point in writing about what they're feeling, as opposed to verbalizing it, especially H.
Very creative way to hide the contents of Ginny's last letter. Or was that her idea?
Author's Response: Stangely enough, it was Ginny\'s idea to do that. It\'s strange how the characters take over like that sometimes!
Several times you've mentioned to reviewers how you like to hear what parts of the chapter the reader liked.
Here goes: Ginny's remarks to Malfoy on the train (fearless young lady); Ginny kicking Harry while in the carriage and getting him out of his funk, rather easily it seemed; Hermione flirting (!!!) with Neville and Ron's reactions; the electric jolt both H and G felt when he helped her down from the carriage; and G's "sweet as sugar" approach to Snape.
As usual, another excellent chapter, where H and G move slightly, at the speed of a slooow glacier, toward each other.
Author's Response: Yes, I do adore hearing what your favorite parts were! It tells me what works, and helps me to focus. I\'m glad you liked the chapter even though H/G certainly are in no rush. A lot of people were impatient for that to happen, so I thank you for your patience.
Speaking of logout issues: my highly complimentary review was eaten by some cyberspace worm. Oh well, I'll try to remember what I said.
You continue to describe the emotional reactions of the four friends very well -- the glances, the hands brushing, the denials, Hermione and Ginny talking. The contrast between Harry and Ron discussing their feelings in a more mature manner -- for them -- then having a pillow fight vividly contrasted the range of emotions they're going experiencing.
You also did a great job with the Quidditch match. What a feeling it would be to be able to fly around your background, having fun with your friends.
Author's Response: Thank you! That Quidditch match was unbelievably difficult for me to write, but it was a good challenge. I also love stressing the subtle things between the characters, and you will notice in later chapters that I intentionally don\'t rush things.
Loved your description of Ron and Harry's reactions to Hermione and Ginny. Also, you provided just enough detail to let us know how good each girl looked and that they'd spent time to do so. Sometimes authors provide too much detail, and it bogs the narrative down. Your descriptions paint the right picture and don't slow down the narrative. Well done!
Remus and Harry's discussion was heartwrenching and true to life. Given their canon character qualities, the talk was right in tune with what they would say.
Author's Response: Thank you! I do love detail, but I also think it\'s important to strike a balance and provide just enough to allow the reader to picture it in their own minds. You really get what I am trying to convey, and I cannot tell you how much that means to me.
What's this? Harry doing homework before school started?! If it stopped Snape in his tracks, it was worth the effort. Great scene!
You continue to develop Harry and Ginny's relationship in a very believable manner. Great lines, innocently spoken by Ginny: "Have you ever tasted honeysuckle, Harry?" and ". . . showing me some moves?" Sure to set Harry's hormones in motion!
Looks like they're almost there. Are you ready to stop teasing your loyal readers?
Author's Response: Quite a change of pace for Harry, isn\'t it? I like to put in little unexpected things and, let\'s face it, Harry being proactive when it comes to school is about as random as it can get! H/G are still moving slowly - what can I say, I have a dark side!
Hi Czarina! I was so excited when I saw you had your next chapter up. It was, as always, worth the wait, with your wonderful details, the various threads evolving, and in some cases, ending.
Poor Dolores was as gormless as Percy. How ironic she was chiding him, when she was being played even worse by Lucius. The feeling that something big was coming up certainly proved to be correct.
Highlights include (but are not limited to) your spot on depiction of Percy's ambitious personality. I am hopeful he will somehow survive his meeting with Voldemort. His comments to Arthur at the start of the chapter were chilling. I loved how you would increase the pressure, then ease off with the interactions between Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione, and then with the boys Christmas shopping. Outstanding portrait of the shopowner, Mr. Peasegood. You created a complete character in just a few well chosen words! The double-cross was, of course, dastardly. And I have to compliment you yet again for the highly imaginative and very valuable Portable Tunnel. How George proved himself was priceless.
As always, I can't wait for your next chapter! Hope all is well with you.
Author's Response: Seeker Jim! How very lovely to hear from you. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad you liked the chapter. It was a long one to write, but I was quite pleased with how it came out. I have to say that I truly enjoyed seeing Umbridge get what she deserved. Thanks again for the review.
I really admire how you've shown Harry maturing emotionally in tandem with his increasing magical power. Are the two related? Hmmm!
The side stories you added were both entertaining and informative -- DD's scar and Lily's abilities. The way Ginny learned about Harry's feelings -- or lack of -- toward Cho by overhearing his response to Ron was very creative and much more effective than H and G having a confrontation, with jealous accusations. As you cleverly included, Harry had already done that with his overreaction to Ginny talking with Colin.
I'm hoping the next chapter gets H and G together. Your preview certainly implies that -- unless you're teasing us again!
Author's Response: I plead guilty to teasing! Sorry, but I really did drag it out and it was deliciously evil of me :-)
You really captured Dumbledore's eccentric, caring personality. The gift of the pensieve seemed to symbolize the difficulty of the path Harry will be facing.
Really, really liked the nocturnal visit between Harry and Ginny. You described their emerging feelings very well, particularly how Harry sought to phrase his response to Ginny, so her feelings wouldn't be hurt.
Author's Response: Dumbledore remains one of my favorite characters, particularly because of his quirkiness and eccentricity. This scene between Harry and GInny remains one of my favorities, particularly because of its innocence. Even though there is no physical contact, I think it\'s one of the most intimate scenes in this story. Thanks, as always, for your kind review.
You must like irony. You start the chapter by having Hermione tell Harry to speed things up with Ginny. Then, at the end, her row with Ron stops them from doing just that. You do like to taunt us!
One aspect of your writing I've not mentioned yet: your chapters read very fast. They seem more like 2000 words, rather than the 4000-6000 they usually are. That says you're doing an excellent job.
Author's Response: Thank you - on both aspects. Yes, I am a fan of irony and your are one of the first to catch what I was doing in this chapter with Hermione. Kudos! As for how fast my chapters go, you really have made my evening by saying that. It is truly a wonderful compliment and I appreciate it immensely.
Very creative idea to have the chessmen commenting on Harry staring at Ginny.
Lots of excellently constructed conversations. I especially like how you're portraying the conflicting emotions teens feel, as shown by Harry and Ron's confusion, Ginny's reticence, and Hermione understanding everything , except her own feelings.
Hermione's "So exactly how long have you fancied Ginny?" was a great opener for that discussion.
The chapter reads very quickly, despite having no action to speak of, which says you wrote the dialogue and inner musings very well!
Author's Response: The chessmen were quite fun, and I will have to consider bringing them back for a repeat performance. I am glad to see that the dialogue was able to hold up the chapter. I needed to work on that aspect, and I am glad it worked.
I guess we can debate whether 17 chapters (!) is too much build up, but you sure delivered on THE KISS and several dozen more.
Lifting the chapter far beyond the usual snogfest were Ginny's confession to Harry about her feelings when Tom possessed her (as you foretold through DD in an earlier chapter) and the whole Malfoy gang being caught after hours.
Humor, confessions, and snogging -- what a great chapter!!!
Author's Response: Thank you! I was going for the Guiness Book record for seeing how many chapters I could prolong a long-awaited kiss for. I suppose you could look at it as literary foreplay. This is one of my favorite chapters and I am very glad you enjoyed it.
Czarina, you did an excellent job of showing how the growing relationships among the four friends is helping Harry get ready for the inevitable confrontation with Voldemort.
Favorite scene: when Harry and Ginny concoct the story of going to the library, and Hermione has to pull Ron back by his shirt tail. Ron's improving, but he's still clueless at times. Funny, funny contrast. I could literally see Hermione tugging him back into the chair, then explaining why he couldn't go with H and G.
Author's Response: Harry\'s friendships are his true strength, and I believe that will be key in his defeat of Voldemort. I\'m glad you like how I infuse some humor into the storyline. While I don\'t want to portray Ron as being dense, I do think it\'s amusing how he sometimes misses the obvious, even when it\'s right in front of him. As always, thank you for the kind review.
Summary: What happens AFTER they climb out of the portrait hole?
Funny, but he had never thought of using the Invisibility Cloak in his schemes to woo Ginny.
I've just found your one shot and thought it was very well done.
You captured the personalities well and worked in some very funny word play and moments.
Loved the two seekers seeking each other. They are good with their hands, aren't they?
It looks like you haven't posted in quite a while. Are you writing elsewhere or working on a War and Peace length novel?